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The new era of mHealth

December 30, 2019 - by Parul Saini, Webmedy team

We are living in an era where ever-growing numbers of industries are using technology in their work, and the healthcare sector is also adopting this. The rapid growth of a variety of new technologies is making a huge influence on healthcare.

Indeed more and more health professionals are using mobile devices and apps to deliver the best quality health for their patients in this new era of mHealth.

What is mhealth?

Just like other buzzwords mHealth has a different meaning for different people. There is no one definition of mHealth that is accepted universally. mHealth is an abbreviation for mobile health, the term describes mobile technologies designed to assist in delivering quality healthcare. It is predicted to get a lot of momentum in the coming years. mHealth can be used as a part of public health education, to control disease, to provide treatment, to manage health outcomes.

According to experts, mHealth can improve communication between patients and physicians. It empowers patients to take ownership of their health (as it makes remote monitoring possible when patients are not able to visit hospitals). Under mHealth's umbrella, there are various applications available such as data analysis, prescriptions, and management of medications that are being used already. Besides, mHealth is used for storing patient's data, emergency response, prescription management, connection with patients through wearable devices. mHealth is becoming an integral part of any practice management platform.

How mobile technology is employed by medical professionals?

According to Skycure, four out of five doctors use their mobile devices to assist with their day-to-day work. Another survey revealed that 93% of health care providers accept that access to mobile health app offers them to provide top-quality care to their patients.

Following applications are used in this technology:

  • Information Management
  • Medical training and education
  • Patient monitoring
  • Maintenance of health record
  • Management of time
  • Clinical decision making
  • Communication between patient and providers

Trends that are getting popular in mHealth

One of the most popular trends now is remote patient monitoring. It includes a device that monitor's patient health and sends that information to the doctor electronically. Wearable devices to access physical activity, diet and sleep are already being used by many users. Real-time data is shared with doctors through these devices.

Healthcare apps are undoubtedly becoming a visible part of mainstream health IT functions. Now an increasing number of tablets and smart devices are used as a medical instrument such as for glucose reading, medication information, and medical graphics.

Medical professionals are now immensely using mobile devices as part of their work to store the patient's record and to provide quality healthcare. Let's have a look at the following statistics:-

  • The market of mobile healthcare technology is expected to reach a value of $60 billion by 2020.
  • According to 93% of doctors, mobile health apps can aid to improve patients' health.
  • 74% of hospitals that are using mobile devices to gather data from patients are more efficient than others.
  • Four out of five doctors use their mobile to aid their day to day work.
  • According to the report of Mobile Threat Intelligence, 43% of physicians are using their mobile devices as the primary screen to access patient's data.
  • As a report of Fierce Mobile Healthcare IT, 84% of physicians use mobile devices for post-hospital discharge support.
  • According to Skycure survey, 28% of healthcare providers store patient's records on their mobile devices.
  • 25% of physicians use their mobile to provide quality care to their patients.

Market Growth

Several mHealth apps are available in the market and have enhanced immensely. Now there are over 318,000 health apps available on app stores worldwide, and it is nearly double the number of apps, that were available in 2015. Roughly more than 200 apps are being added daily.

The major factor driving the growth of the mHealth apps market is the acceptance of smart devices and constant heavy investment into the smart health market.

Consumer's point of view

According to recent research of Accenture, health care consumers are now showing strong use of digital technology, this number is rising every year. In a survey, 75% of consumers said that technology is very useful to manage their health. Also, this research shows increases across the board use of smartphones, gadgets, electronic health records, wearables, and online community.

How mHealth can improve your health?

  • Track personal data

    You can track your health data such as emergency contact information, past medical history, medications, and prescriptions. Millions of users are using these apps to track their fitness, heart rate, sleep.
  • Real-time connection

    You can use these for real-time communication with your physician and any other healthcare provider. Telehealth apps allow physicians to analyze data remotely, data can be stored and shared on a patient portal or EHR, which lets you inform experts and improve care quality.
  • Better quality of life

    The mHealth apps have not only improved the patient's health but also improved the lives of doctors. Physicians in rural areas are now using telehealth instead of driving to the hospital. Smartphone apps have improved the physician's efficiency by streamlining data entry. These can be used for clinical decision support and better communications.

Other benefits:

  • Some apps make it easier to fix appointments and refill a prescription.
  • These devices let the staff of the hospital to access the patient's electronic health record and to get a deeper insight into medical history.
  • Communication apps and note-taking make it easier to share information quickly between all the parties.
  • Fitness tracking apps can be used by medical staff to make sure a great coordination of healthcare.
  • The creation of health apps has enabled patients to take precautions and self-diagnose minor problems, thus freeing up resources in hospitals for the patients that need more attention.

The mobile healthcare industry is going to boom in times ahead. Just like new technologies are emerging, the healthcare sector is getting more and more flexible using these technologies. There are not only positive aspects for patients but also healthcare providers too. These tools have bridged the communication gap between patients and physicians, bringing healthcare to homes, schools and offices and improved access for millions of users.

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